Liev Schreiber puts in his first appearance in an X-Men movie playing Logan/Wolverine's brother Victor Creed (aka Sabretooth). Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson/Deadpool), will.i.am (Wraith), and Taylor Kitsch (Remy LeBeau/Gambit) are also newbies to the X-Men world. Together for a press conference in LA to promote the film, the cast and director Gavin Hood talked about bringing this latest X-Men story to the screen.
Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, will.i.am, Lynn Collins and Director Gavin Hood Press ConferenceWith the film leaking on the internet, was there a satisfaction in finally being able to show the completed version of this film to an audience? What reactions have you gotten from people so far?
Gavin Hood: "Absolutely! The reaction seems to be positive. It was a huge shock for all of us when someone stole the movie. It would be like me reaching out to you guys and grabbing your notebooks right now and saying, 'You know, I’m just going to publish whatever you’ve written, right now. I know you’re not done yet, but we’ll just shove it out there and see what people think of your work.' Any piece of work is molded and shaped and, finally, you feel ready to offer it to the public, knowing that you will be judged on that piece of work. So, I’m thrilled that it’s finally out there in the form that we wanted it to be, on a big screen."
Hugh, how protective do you feel about this movie versus the other X-Men movies, since this is really you, front and center?
Hugh Jackman: "Every role I do has no less effort or desire. Every film has that sense for me, as an actor. But, obviously, this movie has a different dimension, as a producer. Particularly, I found myself asking the cast what they thought of the movie, and I was nervous about it. In that way, I feel it’s more personal to me. It’s more my baby. I asked all these actors and Gavin Hood, the director, to come on board, so obviously I’m more attached to it. It feels more personal. That’s the difference."
Hugh, why was it important to you to include more of Wolverine’s relationships in this, as well as the action, since comic book fans just want to see the action?
Hugh Jackman: "I don’t think that’s true. Comic book fans have loved Wolverine, and all the X-Men characters, for more than the action. I think that’s what set it apart from many of the other comic books. In the case of Wolverine, when he appeared, he was a revolution really. He was the first anti-hero. There was not just good guys versus bad guys, but an internal battle of good and bad going on within the character. That’s why people relate to them. Yeah, they’re cool and they’ve got claws and can do amazing things with swords and cards, and all that great, fun stuff, but each one of them has a personal battle going on, and that’s why audiences can relate. So, yes, the first priority of this movie is for it to be fun. I want people to come and have a great time. I want them to be entertained. I want them to go on see it on a big screen with their friends or whoever, and just have a great time. But, what we have an opportunity to deliver - and this is in the comic book itself - is to make them think a little bit and make them feel, and take them on a journey through these characters."
Hugh, can you talk about reinterpreting Wolverine and making him a little bit different from the Wolverine character that the fans got to know in the previous X-Men movies?
Hugh Jackman: "[With these movies,] about every third day, for the rest of your life, you hear a critique about how you played the part, what you should have done differently, and what you can do the next time, if you ever get a shot at it. I knew exactly what fans wanted, and not just the comic book fans, but fans of the movie. It’s fair to say that by X-Men 3, Wolverine had gone a little soft, and I agree with them there. What fans love about Wolverine is his more uncompromising approach to life. He is who he is. He’s not always a nice guy. He has got edge. He’s an anti-hero. And, there’s also a vulnerability in there. There is conflict and battles going on in there. With Gavin and the other actors, I had the chance to explore that more. I wanted the film to feel different."
"Gavin and I talked a lot about the aesthetic and tone of it. It’s a little darker, a little rawer, a little tougher and, hopefully, maybe even a little more human. That’s really what has appealed to me about the comic book. And, no more black leather suits."
Ryan, what kind of work did you do to get yourself ready for all of the fight sequences?
Ryan Reynolds: "I’ve actually wanted to play Deadpool for a really long time so, for me, it was a bit of a dream come true. I always thought that he was a character that sort of felt like a cross between Commando and Phantom of the Opera, by way of Caddyshack. So, for me, it was a pretty original type of guy, in this universe. I felt like I was ready years ago because I’ve been wanting to play this guy forever. But, it was a lot of sword training and a lot of working out with Hugh, who I remember, on my first day, looked a lot like a guy who was going to make a necklace out of my teeth. That was the gold standard that was set, from early on. Basically, it was about spending countless hours with the katana sword-training fellas."
What about having your mouth covered? Was that very claustrophobic?
Ryan Reynolds: "Yes. Having my mouth sewn shut was definitely [uncomfortable]. It’s a moment where you say, 'Why am I Method?,' but you go for it anyway. At lunch, snorting a steak was hard, but I got it down."